Since his admission to the California bar in 2001, David E. Libman, Esq., LL.M. has had the opportunity to practice in a variety of related and complementary practice areas. See Areas of Practice. These days, David’s practice focuses primarily on business, real estate and estate planning matters — with a balance between lawsuits and transactional matters.
David’s practice frequently involves civil litigation – an arena in which he has successfully tried and/or settled cases in both California and Colorado. David has been able to consistently achieve successful litigation outcomes that have met or exceeded his client’s expectations. Those lawsuits have included, among other things, multi-million dollar complex business disputes involving breach of contract and related tort claims (e.g., breach of fiduciary duties, negligence, unfair competition, fraud etc.), creditor/debtor disputes, real property disputes involving quiet title, partition and unlawful detainer (a.k.a. eviction) claims, and elder abuse claims.
David’s practice also often extends to assisting and advising clients on a variety of other matters that are important to their particular needs, including: (1) transactional matters, such as those related to (a) entity formation, e.g., the creation of a partnership, LLC or corporation, and (b) later governance and compliance issues for those existing entities; and (2) real estate transactions, e.g., the negotiation of leases, purchase agreements or promissory notes.
In 2008, David received a master of laws degree (LL.M.) from UCLA in business law with a tax emphasis. As such, David devotes part of his practice to estate planning and tax matters. With estate planning, David works with his clients to develop a comprehensive strategy that works best for them and their particular needs – not just a cookie-cutter “one size fits all” approach. David frequently assists clients in setting up or amending wills, trusts, healthcare directives and powers of attorney.
In the tax arena, David represents clients in disputes with various taxing authorities, where his successes have included: (1) an IRS appeal where he helped secure a $0 liability decision from the IRS after it threatened his client with over $1 million in income tax liability; (2) a property tax appeal where he helped secure a $1.5 million reduction in assessed value from the County’s original assessment; (3) a sales tax audit in which he successfully negotiated a near 50% reduction from the California State Board of Equalization’s initially proposed tax liability; and (4) a payroll tax dispute in which David negotiated a reduction in penalties exceeding $20,000 for client, along with an installment payment plan. David is also well-versed in advising clients on tax matters involving: (1) the establishment of Internal Revenue Code Section 468B qualified settlement funds; (2) qui tam recoveries under federal and state False Claims Acts; (3) transaction optimization; (4) property tax assessment and related exclusions; (5) 1031 exchanges; and (6) the provision of Circular 230 opinions regarding income characterization. Indeed, even if a client does not approach David for tax advice, David has come to realize that his knowledge of tax issues ends up being a value added component to the other services he provides.
Though the Orange County’s Community Service Programs, Inc., David has completed the requisite training as dictated by the California Dispute Resolution Programs Act of 1986 to serve as a mediator, including in unlawful detainer disputes. David expects his role as a mediator will become an increasingly prominent aspect of his practice in the coming years due to the continuing backlog of litigation in California court system. See Mediation.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, David worked professionally as a musician for years, first in New York (where he obtained a bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School), and later in Los Angeles and Orange County. As a musician – specifically, a drummer – David has recorded albums; played as the house drummer on a nationally syndicated television set talk show; toured domestically and internationally; and performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Universal Amphitheater. David has a particular love for jazz and believes that the listening and creative skills he has honed as musician serve him well in his capacity as an attorney. Indeed, many consider David to be “the lawyer who listens.” David still continues to play music as an application in various venues throughout Orange County, and he also often writes for DRUM! Magazine as a reviewer an interviewer. See Publications.
Finally, David is most proud of his family. He has been married to his beautiful, creative and artistic wife Andrea for 18 years – thus demonstrating that David knows how to make fantastic decisions. David and Andrea have two highly intelligent, kind and talented children, Mathieu and Joel. Mathieu is working on his bachelor’s degree in experimental animation at the California Institute of the Arts (“CalArts”) in Valencia, California; Joel is a high school student at the Orange County School of the Arts (“OCSA”) in Santa Ana, California.
– Supreme Court of California
– U.S. District Court, Central District of California
– U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
– U.S. Tax Court
– Supreme Court of Colorado
The Juilliard School, New York City, New York
– Degree: Bachelors of Music – 1992
– Major: Music
Chapman University School of Law, Orange, California
– Degree: J.D. magna cum laude – 2001
– Law Review: Chapman University School Law Review, Senior Notes and Comments Editor
– Member, Appellate Moot Court Team
UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, California
– Degree: LL.M., Business with a Tax Law Emphasis – 2008
– Honors: Top 10% of his class
– Major: Business Law – Tax Emphasis
Community Service Programs, Inc., Santa Ana, California
– Certification: Basic Mediation Training Program – 2013
– Certification: Advance Mediation Training in Mediating Unlawful Detainer Cases – 2014
Professional Associations and Memberships
– Newport Beach BNI, Member (Current President)
– Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce, Member
– Orange County Bar Association, Member of Alternative Dispute Resolution and Tax Sections
– California State Bar, Trusts and Estates Section, Member
– Bar Association of San Francisco, Taxation Section, Executive Committee, Former Member
– Toastmasters, Former Member
– Recipient of Orange County Bar Association Tax Section’s first ever OCBA Tax Award in 2015
– One of Orange County’s “Best Lawyers” for Lawsuits and Disputes in 9/2015 Orange County Coast Magazine
– One of Orange County’s “Best Lawyers” in 9/2014 OC Metro Magazine
– 10.0 “Superb” rating from AVVO
– 5.0/5.0 client review rating from Martindale
– Rising Star rating from Super Lawyers for 2005-2007
– Kiwanis AKTion club, Charter Member and Board Member
– Volunteer for the Fullerton College Legal Clinic
– Volunteer mediator for Orange County Superior Court small claims division
– Volunteer at debtor clinic at United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California
Past Employment Positions
– Enterprise Counsel Group, ALC (Irvine, California), Partner
– Wood & Porter (San Francisco, California), Associate
– Sedgwick LLP (Irvine, California), Associate
– Hon. Judge John A. Ryan, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, Judicial Extern
– David has been frequently published on a variety of legal issues. See Publications.
See Speakings Engagements page for details.
– 10/23/2014 speech on “Tax Tools You Might Not Know About” for CalCPA Society North OC Discussion Group
– 12/17/2014 speech on “Legal Ways to Protect Your Business” for Orange Chamber of Commerce
– 1/8/2015 speech on “Legal Ways to Protect Your Business” for Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce
– 11/11/2015 speech on the “Litigation Process in California” for Newport Beach BNI
– 6/1/2016 speech on “The Eviction Process in California” for Newport Beach BNI
– 9/14/2016 speech on “The Value of Limited Liability Entities” for Newport Beach BNI